Which Contenders Are For Real and Which Are Not?

by Jake Archer | Posted on Monday, June 5th, 2017
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So last week I had a blog about the worst teams in baseball right now and whether or not I thought they were doomed. This week I want to look at the top of the standings and judge the best teams on whether or not I think they’ll be going strong into October or fading out sometime this summer. In this blog, the teams have to be over .500 to make the cut, regardless of how many games out they are. Therefore, I’m not touching the Toronto Blue Jays, the Detroit Tigers or the St. Louis Cardinals. Talk to me when you’re better than mediocre. Here we go.

New York Yankees- The Yankees are really good and really surprising right now. At 32-22 they lead the American League East and they’ve made the jump to a legit threat faster than I think anyone thought they could. They also are getting all of this done while their “ace” Masahiro Tanaka stinks up the joint, and their closer, Aroldis Chapman, is on the DL. I don’t think the Yanks are going to win the division, but I think they’ll be a playoff team. They’ll struggle a bit but they’ll also probably add some significant pieces at the deadline. Jose Quintana is one name that comes to mind.

Boston Red Sox- The Sox are 31-25 and two games back of New York despite being very inconsistent and dealing with a lot of injuries so far this year. They haven’t played nearly up to their potential yet and I expect them to surge during the summer. They’ll have key players returning from injury, the willingness to upgrade through trade and a one-two punch of Chris Sale and David Price. I’ve got their arrow pointing up right now.

Baltimore Orioles- I still love the bats of the O’s and I think their pitching isn’t as bad as many people think. However, I don’t see them being able to do enough to keep up with Boston and New York and for that reason I see them missing the postseason.

Minnesota Twins- When was the last time the Twins were in the postseason? It’s been a minute but here they are, leading the American League Central. This Twins team has a crop of new, young talent and I like them to stay in the race, but I don’t think they’ll be playing in October.

Cleveland Indians- Much like the Red Sox, I feel like the Indians have underachieved. They’re only three games over .500 but one game back of Minnesota. This is a very talented team that will turn it around and possibly add at the deadline as well. I’d still put my money on the Tribe in this division.

Houston Astros- They’ve already clinched a postseason berth, right?

Washington Nationals- Much like the Astros, they’ve locked up their spot in the postseason.

Milwaukee Brewers- Where in the world did this come from? This is the biggest surprise of the season to me in terms of who is leading a division. Do I think there is much to it and do I think it will last? Not a shot.

Chicago Cubs- They are struggling and people are freaking out over it. Yea, it’s crazy that they are only one game over .500 but they’ll be fine. They have too much talent and they also have Theo Epstein. I’d be shocked if they don’t end up winning the NL Central with a pretty good record.

Colorado Rockies- The Rockies are another big surprise, especially because they’re doing really well and they aren’t just a product of other teams playing bad ball. I like them to stick around, but I don’t think they’ll be playing in the postseason.

Los Angeles Dodgers- The Dodgers are only a half game back of the Rockies and they seem to be just growing stud prospects on trees. They’ll make moves and be back looking for a World Series title.

Arizona Diamondbacks- The D’backs are a decent surprise because of how bad they were last year. But, I was in on them being good last year because they’ve got the pieces to do well. So I guess I was a year early, but I still like what Arizona has and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them grab a Wild Card spot. Also, the NL West is the best division in baseball because their third place team is still very, very good.

That’s all I’ve got for the contenders right now, let me know who you see making a run or falling off.

 

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Jake Archer
About the Author

Jake is a sports blogger with a passion for baseball and the Red Sox. He loves pitcher's duels, ballpark food and listening to games on the radio. He's got some strong opinions on things like pace-of-play, the DH rule and more. Follow him on Twitter at @jarcher04.







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